The counrty of Gordes

In the beginning, there was rock....

Gordes : A village between sky and stones…

Hanging 340 metres above sea level on a rocky promontory of the Monts de Vaucluse, Gordes dominates the Calavon Valley and its plain, offering a breathtaking view of the famous Luberon mountains.

The village is home to historical architectural treasures that make up the richness of its heritage: the renaissance castle and its sumptuous chimney, the church richly decorated like a fortress, the cellars of the Saint Firmin Palace whose oil mills, tanks and cisterns reveal the unusual universe of underground Gordes, the narrow cobblestone alleys, the tall buildings overlooking the precipice, the seigneurial houses and the winding streets paved in donkey step fashion (having large successive encased landings separated by very low steps, the length of which is calculated in such a way that the next step is approached from the animal’s other hoof) that make it possible to escape the assault of the Mistral wind.

Not far from the village, you can't miss the Glass and Stained-Glass Museum and the Moulin des Bouillons, classified as a Historic Monument, and the Romanesque Cistercian Abbey of Senanque nestled in the heart of a small valley where silence invites meditation.

The only remaining traces of the life that animated the village over the last centuries, can only be read in the stone that remains. In the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, agricultural and artisanal activities occupied most of the very hard-working and often very poor population. The inhabitants of Gordes worked on the land but also in the many oil mills, silk farms, silk spinning mills and tanneries as well as cobbler and carpenter workshops. One of the flagship activities of Gordes was shoemaking.

Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque

The village is also the emblem of a mineral world, nestled in the heart of an unspoilt countryside. Here stone is omnipresent; pushed out by the earth, the men worked it, shaped the landscape with it, and from this molasse (soft limestone deposits) all the learned and popular architecture that surrounds us was born. Stone walls tens of kilometres long criss-cross the countryside.

There is no doubt that sedimentary rock is one of the founding elements of this village's identity.

Victor Vasarely Sculpture "Gordes Bleu"

Musée du vitrail
Moulin des Bouillons and Stained Glass Museum


Later Pierre Viala decided to pass the baton and part with his property successfully avoiding private investors, of whom he feared their purely commercial ambitions...

In 1983, the town of Gordes decided to buy the site for the town. The town of Gordes did this for Pierre Viala, to ensure that the people of Gordes would have a memorial to enrich Gordes with an exceptional site that would soon become a jewel of its tourist attractiveness.

Through its acquisition, the town of Gordes measured the importance and interest of this site for the town’s cultural, tourist and economic life. It was a question of perpetuating its success. For this reason, its management was, and still is today, our main concern, to ensure a balance between a large number of visitors and the uncompromising preservation of this unique heritage.

The 100,000 visitors who come to the Village des Bories each year make it one of the most visited sites in Vaucluse.

village des Bories FR
village des Bories EN